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Co-Authored by:  Mindy Curnutt

Conquer SQL Server 2017 administration—from the inside out

Dive into SQL Server 2017 administration—and really put your SQL Server DBA expertise to work. This supremely organized reference packs hundreds of timesaving solutions, tips, and workarounds—all you need to plan, implement, manage, and secure SQL Server 2017 in any production environment: on-premises, cloud, or hybrid. Four SQL Server experts offer a complete tour of DBA capabilities available in SQL Server 2017 Database Engine, SQL Server Data Tools, SQL Server Management Studio, and via PowerShell. Discover how experts tackle today’s essential tasks—and challenge yourself to new levels of mastery.
• Install, customize, and use SQL Server 2017’s key administration and development tools
• Manage memory, storage, clustering, virtualization, and other components
• Architect and implement database infrastructure, including IaaS, Azure SQL, and hybrid cloud configurations
• Provision SQL Server and Azure SQL databases
• Secure SQL Server via encryption, row-level security, and data masking
• Safeguard Azure SQL databases using platform threat protection, firewalling, and auditing
• Establish SQL Server IaaS network security groups and user-defined routes
• Administer SQL Server user security and permissions
• Efficiently design tables using keys, data types, columns, partitioning, and views
• Utilize BLOBs and external, temporal, and memory-optimized tables
• Master powerful optimization techniques involving concurrency, indexing, parallelism, and execution plans
• Plan, deploy, and perform disaster recovery in traditional, cloud, and hybrid environments

For Experienced SQL Server Administrators and Other Database Professionals

• Your role: Intermediate-to-advanced level SQL Server database administrator, architect, developer, or performance tuning expert

• Prerequisites: Basic understanding of database administration procedures

The post BOOK PUBLICATION: SQL Server 2017 Administration Inside Out appeared first on Mindy Curnutt and Associates.

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I struggled through this exercise and thought I would pass along what I have learned along the way.

Basically, I have a Windows Server in Azure with SQL Server installed on it. I want to take a native SQL backup and restore it to the SQL Server in Azure. Sounds like it shouldn’t be that hard, right? Well, it’s not, you just have to know what you’re doing – once you’ve figured it out it’s not a big deal.

I’m not a big Powershell person (yet, maybe someday), so I wanted to basically do this using Transact-SQL.

First thing I had to do was to push the BAK file up into Azure. OK…seems easy enough. But how do I do that? FTP? (nah….there has to be an easier way). Hmm….hey, in Azure there are Resources called STORAGE, I bet there’s a way I can use those and tie that into my SQL Server in Azure, right?

I found the Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer, which worked great for small files. Problem is – the file I want to upload is 129GB. The program would just blow up and refuse to upload a file that large, at least from my home with personal internet home speeds.

Then I found the Blob Transfer Utility for Windows Azure Blob Storage, which says that it will take larger files and split them up. OK…trying that now.

The post Restoring a SQL Backup from Azure Blob Storage appeared first on Mindy Curnutt and Associates.

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Mindy Curnutt by Mindyc - 7M ago

I’ll be speaking at Live! 360 Orlando, December 2-7. Surrounded by your fellow industry professionals, Live! 360 provides you with immediately usable training and education that will keep you relevant in the workforce. I will personally speaking on database topics.

On Tuesday, December 4th I will present on the topic of:

SQT10 Parameterization and Performance in SQL Server.

T-SQL programming makes wide use of parameterization in stored procedures, dynamic statements and ad hoc queries. Many developers aren’t aware of the significant influence they have on query performance. Incorrect use or lack of parameters is a common reason for query performance issues. Have you experienced a query that always ran fast, but suddenly (and for “no reason”) become slow? And with nothing changing? Yep! If this is a new topic to you, you’ll leave this session with takeaways galore.

You will learn:
About how the plan cache deals with queries that are (and are not) parameterized
What parameter sniffing is and how it’s handled in the older and newest versions of SQL
About the problem of mismatched data types and implicit conversions — and how that ties in with ORM-generated code
Value list handling from applications, and how to use a table valued parameter as an input instead.

Then right after this presentation I will be down the hall talking about ways to diagnose application issues:

SQT13 Reading Between the Lines: Using XEvents to Diagnose Application Issues

In this session, three different approaches to using Extended Events will be covered, culminating in a non-traditional approach of using them to determine what’s MISSING — thus the application/network portion of a user experience. We will explain how to use XEvents to do the following:

1. The long running query
2. The thousand paper cuts — de-parameterization and aggregation
3. Looking at Space Between SQL Calls (how to determine when application slowness does NOT involve the SQL Server)

Each approach will detail the following: Creating an extended events session to capture the information you need for each scenario and how to analyze and make sense of the captured data. Lots of demos and take-away scripts!

You will learn:
-How to use XEvents from scripting
-Use XEvents to detect basic performance issues
-Acquire a new and creative technique for diagnosing application issues by using a SQL tool

SPECIAL OFFER: As a speaker, I can extend $500 savings on the 5-day package. Register here: http://bit.ly/OSPK20Reg

All roads lead to Live! 360: the ultimate education destination! Bring the issues that keep you up at night and prepare to leave this event with the answers, guidance and training you need. Register now: http://bit.ly/OSPK20Reg

The post Live! 360 Speaker appeared first on Mindy Curnutt and Associates.

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I have organized a Power BI Class with an emphasis on transportation and logistics that will take place at University of Texas Dallas on October 11, 2018.

I’ve been able to work with one of the best Power BI Teams in the United States and introduce them to the Transportation & Logistics space. As a result, I’m so happy to bring to you a FULL DAY POWER BI CLASS that will use Transportation & Logistics data for most of the demos, taught by the Guy in a Cube duo – Adam Saxton and Patrick LeBlanc. This is a fantastic opportunity and the first of its kind. Don’t miss out.  Power BI class sign up details

Create and Distribute Power BI Reports for Beginners

Feel comfortable with Power BI to make awesome reports! Learn how to get started with Power BI Desktop and the Power BI service. This one day course will guide you through creating a report, using Power BI Desktop, and then publish it to the Power BI service to share with others in your organization.

  • Learn and understand how to use Power BI Desktop
  • Create your first data model and report
  • Understand what the Power BI service is
  • How to share and distribute your reports to others
  • And much more!

The course includes hands-on labs. You will be using your own laptop.

More Information: This course is for anyone who is not familiar with Power BI and would like to start creating data models and reports. This includes report authors, business analysts, Excel users, and really anyone who want to create an awesome interactive report. While the course is designed for people who know little to nothing about Power BI or data models, it is just as valuable for people that have been using Power BI and want a refresher or a different perspective on the process of getting reports out in your organization.

Course Outline:
  • What is Power BI?
  • Introducing Power BI Desktop
  • Transform and shape data
  • Create your data model
  • Visualize your data
  • Introducing the Power BI Service
  • Sharing and collaboration
  • Creating Dashboards
  • Working with mobile devices
  • Extending the Power BI service
  • Keeping your data fresh and up-to-date
  • Bonus: Keep your data safe

Create and Distribute Power BI Reports for Beginners - YouTube

The sign up and seat availability details can be found here.  Please reach out to me if you have any questions, I’d be happy to tell you more about all this!

Mindy
972.551.9761

The post Power BI Class on October 11 – 2018 appeared first on Mindy Curnutt and Associates.

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I am pleased to announce I’m writing a series of articles for IT Pro Today.  Below is a excerpt from the first in the series.  In this article I’m  comparing Azure Cosmos DB against SQL server and how that affects or will affect DBAs and our profession as a whole.  You can read the entire article here.

Azure Cosmos DB vs. SQL Server: Scalability Differences

Azure Cosmos DB introduces career- and technical-related questions for traditional DBAs; how it handles scalability, by scaling out rather than up, distinguishes it from SQL Server

Azure Cosmos DB is Microsoft’s NoSQL database as a service (DaaS), designed to take advantage of elasticity and flexibility and to satisfy the needs of IoT and global-facing, cloud-based applications. It offers access methods, consistency models, cost structures and ways of looking at data that are different from a relational database management system (RDBMS) like SQL Server.

But Cosmos DB introduces a number of questions for database professionals. Most of the seasoned DBAs I know are struggling to wrap their heads around exactly what Cosmos DB is and wondering where it should or should not be used. And beyond the need to understand and evaluate the technical aspects of Cosmos DB, there is a broader set of questions around what the technology means for traditional DBAs’ careers. Should RDMBS specialists become database generalists? Doing so would allow them to get more involved in NoSQL and Cosmos DB but it comes at the cost of less depth of knowledge in the RDBMS space.

Read the entire article at IT Pro Today

The post My Article at IT Pro Today – Azure Cosmos DB vs. SQL Server appeared first on Mindy Curnutt and Associates.

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I am pleased to announce I’m writing a series of articles for IT Pro Today.  Below is a excerpt from the first in the series.  In this article I’m  comparing Azure Cosmos DB against SQL server and how that affects or will affect DBAs and our profession as a whole.  You can read the entire article here.

Azure Cosmos DB vs. SQL Server: Scalability Differences

Azure Cosmos DB introduces career- and technical-related questions for traditional DBAs; how it handles scalability, by scaling out rather than up, distinguishes it from SQL Server

Azure Cosmos DB is Microsoft’s NoSQL database as a service (DaaS), designed to take advantage of elasticity and flexibility and to satisfy the needs of IoT and global-facing, cloud-based applications. It offers access methods, consistency models, cost structures and ways of looking at data that are different from a relational database management system (RDBMS) like SQL Server.

But Cosmos DB introduces a number of questions for database professionals. Most of the seasoned DBAs I know are struggling to wrap their heads around exactly what Cosmos DB is and wondering where it should or should not be used. And beyond the need to understand and evaluate the technical aspects of Cosmos DB, there is a broader set of questions around what the technology means for traditional DBAs’ careers. Should RDMBS specialists become database generalists? Doing so would allow them to get more involved in NoSQL and Cosmos DB but it comes at the cost of less depth of knowledge in the RDBMS space.

Read the entire article at IT Pro Today

The post My Article at IT Pro Today – Azure Cosmos DB vs. SQL Server appeared first on Mindy Curnutt and Associates.

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Learning by Combining Multiple Interests: Power BI, Social Media, Music and my Daughter

A few weeks ago I discovered the Power BI Solution Template for Twitter Campaign/Brand Management. I’ve played with the template a bunch since then, made some discoveries, dug a little deeper and put it to use on a few occasions. I’ve used it to review tweet patterns about #sqlpass, #mvpbuzz and most recently #osmf2017.  What is #osmf2017? I’m so glad you asked! (proud Mama Bear’s gotta share).

Last weekend my daughter Riley Curnutt (please go like her Facebook page) was one of the top 10 finalists in the Youth Competition at the Old Settler’s Music Festival in Driftwood, TX. The Festival is held adjacent to the world famous Salt Lick BBQ (which Bobby Flay says is “the best BBQ beef ribs he ever ate“). This year the lineup was fantastic and included some of my personal favorites: The Old 97s, Los Lobos, Sarah Jarosz, Gaelic Storm and many others. Riley competed as a singer/songwriter against 9 other young musicians (all under 18) and ended up taking 3rd place. Did I mention she’s only 13? I was really beside myself. Here is a video of her performance:

Anyway, when I was trying to come up with something fun to use as a hashtag to visualize using Power BI the thought crossed my mind to use the hashtag from the Festival, which was #osmf2017. So…that’s what I did. My daughter rolled her eyes when I told her I did this analysis – “Mom, your such a Nerd”.  Hopefully those of you who are fellow-nerds will find this stuff of interest! Let me go through the process step-by-step with you, (it’s not difficult), because I found there are several places that you can get mucked up and where things are a bit vague.

In order to make this work you will need Power BI Desktop, an Azure SQL Database and a Twitter account.

How To Prepare Your Azure Environment

The first thing I did was to create a new SQL Server in the Azure environment. I called my new SQL Server “mindytwitter”. I put it into a new Resource Group I created called (so clever) “mindytwitterRG”.

Microsoft Azure SQL Server – Add Server

Next, I created an Azure SQL Database called “mindytwitterDB” on the SQL Server “mindytwitter”. This automatically got created in the same resource group as the SQL Server. This is important for simplified cleanup later on when you decide you’re done with this project. You just go delete the resource group and it flushes all the “things” you created down the toilet with it. (note to self, deleting resource groups can be VERY dangerous).

I didn’t want to wait a long time for things to run, so I picked a decent sized Azure DB (20 DTUs and 1GB). If I don’t decommission the Azure DB it will run me $30/month at this size. It’s easy to scale down or up however and you can go as low as about $5/month.

Microsoft Azure SQL Database Sizing

Once that’s up and running, you will want to go into the settings of your SQL Server and poke a hole in the firewall for the IP address you are currently working from. Do this by clicking on “Show Firewall Settings” as seen below.

Microsoft Azure SQL Server Firewall Settings – Show firewall settings

Then click on “Add client IP”. You can name your IP address with a Rule Name. I called mine “WhereMindyIsToday”, who knows where I was, I travel way too much it seems.  You can go in later and easily remove these.

Microsoft Azure SQL Server Firewall Settings – Add Client IP Working With the Power BI Twitter Solution Template

Whew….OK, once that’s done, now you’ll need to go out to the following URL: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/solution-templates/brand-management-twitter/. Click on the “Install Now” button and off we go.

Microsoft Power BI Campaign/Brand Management for Twitter Template

The first thing it’s going to want you to do is to connect to your Azure Tenant. This bit me about 10X before I finally realized — my Azure tenant is NOT my login. My Azure tenant is my Domain. **Good Grief** (shame face here) that was painful!!

When you are logged into Azure you can see what your Domain is by clicking on your Avatar. My login is my email address, but my Domain is this twisted up version of my full email all smashed together followed by .onmicrosoft.com.  So there you go. (if one of you hacks me I’m warning you now, I know Keyser Söze)

And I stopped and questioned whether or not I should obfuscate this, but then I thought, anyone can figure this out, if they know my email account (hotmail) it’s like 90% likely that my Azure account is all of that smashed together followed by onmicrosoft.com. In fact, anyone with a hotmail our outlook email account you can pretty much guess their Azure domain, it’s not rocket science. So….I’m just going to show it. You could have figured it out anyway if you just took a second to think about it.

And now I’ve probably created a huge opportunity for **wanting** to hack into Azure for those of us who have either their email on hotmail or outlook, so you’re welcome.

Microsoft Azure – Domain and Login are not the same thing (duh)

So take that and type it into the area where the wizard is asking for your Azure Tenant.

Connecting to the Azure Tenant

Next, pick the Azure Subscription you want to use (if you have more than one), then hit Next.

Now you’re going to tell the wizard what SQL Server you want to connect to, remember we made a server called mindytwitter? So our SQL Server is going to be mindytwitter.database.windows.net. Put in your SQL User name and password you use to create objects and insert / read data from the server (most likely an administrative one). Then pick your Azure SQL Database. Ours in this case is mindytwitterdb. All pretty simple.

Connecting to your Azure SQL Database

If all goes well, next up it will ask you to authorize the app to use your Twitter account. So here, enter your Twitter account login / pwd. My twitter handle is @sqlgirl.

Connecting the Azure AppService Logic App to Twitter

Great. Now we’re through the hard part. (that wasn’t so hard, but the first few times know what exactly to enter in that Domain section threw me for a loop, and the application doesn’t “back up and forget” very well, you have to start over if things go south).

So, I mentioned I was going to pull data related to the hashtag used for the Old Settler’s Folk Festival. That hashtag is #osmf2017. You can put in more than one hashtag, and you can also put handles in at this point, or a mix/match of both. The kicker here is that this wizard is only going to pull 100 results, so the more pure you leave it, the higher sample per keyword you’re going to get. I’ve tried to change it to pull more than 100 but apparently that’s a limit from the Twitter API. I have it on my list to dig deeper into this little “problem” and how to get around it. I’ve still found the information interesting and it’s a fun way to learn some new Power BI skills playing with real data that’s about a subject that you find interesting. Here I’m putting the hashtag in that we’re playing with in this example:

Entering your search terms

Next, you can put in Twitter Handles. This is for the first 2 tabs reports of the dashboard. It helps track tweeting FROM or TO. I haven’t found this incredibly useful with samples of only 100 tweets so I’ve been leaving this part blank.

Entering which Twitter Handles to Analyze for To and From direction

Same with the next screen…”Scale with Analysis Services”, with only 100 tweets I haven’t tried this one yet. So here I just hit NEXT.

Then you are presented with a screen to “Verify and run solution”. Look over your Target Server, Target Database and Target Username. All of it look good? Great….hit RUN.

Now you wait. It really hasn’t taken that long, I don’t think any of mine have been 10 minutes. I think the average has been more like 5-6 minutes.

And now we wait…

Once it’s done, you can Download your Report. This will download a .pbix file that you can use with Microsoft’s free Power BI Desktop.

Download that Report!

OK…now for the fun stuff!

Working with the Power BI Dashboard

Open up the .pbix file. When you do, the first thing you will see is a button at the top that says “Apply Changes”. Go ahead and click on that. It will ask you for your username and password to connect to your Azure SQL DB. The connection string will already be in place so you don’t need to worry about that, just the credentials. The data will then be pulled from your Azure SQL DB in the Cloud down to your local Power BI Desktop install.

Connect to the Azure SQL Database and Download Data – Apply Changes

Now you can start poking around and seeing what’s in the Dashboard. Since I opted to not put any handles in for analysis of FROM and TO, the first two tabs in the workbook (Outbound Tweets and Inbound Tweets) will not have any information, this is normal.

But then we get to tab #3 – Author Hashtag Graph.  The gray dots are hashtags and the green dots are accounts that have tweeted. You can see that I made a tweet that had 2 hashtags – #osmf2017 and #mvpbuzz. And boy was @TexasMusicDude busy tweeting up a storm – and using lots of other hashtags in conjunction with his tweets. Other hashtags that were popular appear to be #CampGround, #ShinyRibs, #TexasMusic, #DreamFolk and #Strings. Along the bottom you can see the day/timeline and the quantity of tweets at what time of day. If you click on any of the nodes, the information about what time the tweet(s) took place is highlighted in the timeline. It’s very interactive.

Network Navigator Visualization – showing Tweet and Hashtag relationships

Next tab over, Pivoting Overview gives us another interesting way of looking at the #osmf2017 hashtag activity.  You can see the total tweets pulled into the tool was only 100, by design at this point. Out of those 100 there were 72 unique tweets (meaning there were 28 retweets). Along the bottom the tweets are actually shown, with pictures! You can scroll to the right and left through all of them. And there’s my tweet, with me wearing my new Microsoft MVP vest that was sent in preparation for our Central US MVP Community Summit coming up on 5/20.

The Pivoting Overview Tab – There’s Me!

To the right the donut ring is a sentiment indicator. It is using Cortana Intelligence and Azure Machine Learning to review and make a determination, what is the sentiment of the tweet? I clicked on the tiny Negative slice to see what tweets may have been nasty.  It was only 2 of them. The first contained the trigger word “Lazy”. Well, that’s tricky. A Lazy Morning is actually a positive sentiment. I guess Cortana is still learning. The other tweet was referring to one of the acts in the Youth Competition which was a quartet of young ladies called The Belle Tones who were singing harmony beautifully together. I guess the trigger for Cortana in this case is “not barbershop”, which it may think shows disappointment. They were hardly disappointing! Very interesting how machine learning has come so far – but still has a lot to learn. I bet over the next 24 months the progress in this area is amazing.

Filtering by Negative Sentiment

One more tab over and we are on the Sentiment tab. This looks at sentiment by author, sentiment by tweet quantity by hashtag, volume of tweets by sentiment bucket and sentiment of tweets over time (this is really interesting to me). Wouldn’t it be interesting to correlate this with a speech and see if at some point words were said which triggered negative sentiment on twitter almost immediately? This tab gives me lots of ideas.

The Sentiment Tab – Scatter Charts. But what are each of these tweets?

The problem I had with this one is that I wanted to see labels on some of this.  Well, that’s easily fixed. You can edit the pbix, since you own it. This is just a starting template, so customize away. Here I went into the visualizations editing window and added Category Labels to the plot diagrams so I could more clearly see WHO was tweeting or what the hastags were that the diagram is referring to. And there’s my @sqlgirl tweet with a slightly higher than neutral sentiment.

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I’ll be teaching a session on Spatial Data coming up this weekend at SQL Saturday, Washington DC.  In the recent past, at the end of my presentation we have a little fun and use spatial methods to render a drawing of Hillary and Donald using only T-SQL. Honestly, I’m getting rather tired of that story, and I’m ready to move on to something much more lighthearted.

So – I decided to replace that section of my presentation with a drawing of Olaf.

JPG that I started out with.

I used the technique created and outlined clearly by Alex Whittles in this blog post: http://www.purplefrogsystems.com/blog/2011/05/sql-server-art-using-spatial-data/

  1. Convert a lineart image to a bitmap
  2. Convert bitmap to a vector (vectormagic.com)
  3. Use Excel workbook for formatting
  4. Paste in SQL

I took the JPG above and opened it up in Adobe Photoshop and then converted and saved it as a BMP file. The result of that transformation left me with an image that looked like this (pretty much looks exactly the same…)

Bitmap Olaf

I used the vectormagic site to convert the BMP to an EPS. For some reason WordPress will not let me upload and share an EPS, so I changed the extension to TXT. I have attached that here so that you can see what it looks like. You’re going to open the EPS file in Notepad anyway in order to work with the contents.

Olaf EPS file contents: Olaf EPS File Contents

I took the contents of the EPS and dropped it into the excel workbook that Alex Whittles created. You can see how that looks here: Olaf Excel Workbook

I added an additional step of blending all of the vector lines together using the UnionAggregate spatial method. Then I combined the result with a Union of itself with a little buffering to make the drawing darker and more clear.  The resulting SQL statement that draws Olaf in SSMS is here (just rename to an .SQL extension):  Draw Olaf Using TSQL

The result should look something like this:

Spatial Olaf

Now, as one person recently pointed out in a session I taught – “what is the business case for this?”. You know, I can’t think of one other than having fun while learning. I have used this technique to prank a few folks, emailing them a query to run that draws their own face. Nothing wrong with making learning fun if you ask me.  Happy coding.

The post Do You Want to Build a Snowman? appeared first on Mindy Curnutt and Associates.

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I’m very proud to announce that I have been selected to participate in the 2016-2017 Idera ACE program.  This means I’ll be able to participate and mentor others in the #sqlfamily more than ever before! My first event as an Idera ACE will be SQL Saturday, Lincoln NE. I’ll also be traveling to Washington, DC and presenting at their SQL Saturday thanks to Idera!

Part of my Idera ACE responsibility is to also blog, mentor and educate, fantastic! I am truly honored and so excited. This award has given me some new energy and I feel invigorated and ready to “get going!” Here’s to a great year!!

What is an Idera ACE?

“ACEs (Advisors & Community Educators) are active community members who have shown a passion for helping the community and sharing their knowledge. Idera helps the ACEs pursue that passion by sponsoring travel to select events and offering guidance for soft skill training.”

Requirements to become an Idera ACE:

  • Enthusiastic members & leaders of the SQL community
  • Accomplished contributors to the SQL community
  • Good speaker, writer and presenter
  • Demonstrated a passion for educating fellow community members

The post Serving as an Idera ACE 2016-2017 appeared first on Mindy Curnutt and Associates.

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PASS is the Professional Association for SQL Server and is a Worldwide Organization with about 250,000 members. This is the 2nd time I’ve received this award, and I’m one of only 2 people to ever be awarded the designation more than once.  I was also awarded this designation in June of 2015. It will be announced at the late October PASS Summit in Seattle to over 4,000 attendees at the Washington Convention Center.
“As one of the Program Managers, Mindy has been an invaluable member of the PASS Community. She has restructured the process of reviewing abstracts by building her own database to manage the hundreds of abstracts received and to manage the workflow of reviewing all those abstracts for the team of 100 volunteers. In addition to this, when the abstract reviews were complete, Mindy alone went through all 3000 comments left by the reviewers to clean up poorly worded comments before sending those comments back to the submitter.  The processes she has set in place and the extensive knowledge she has brought to the Program Committee has made her a crucial part in making the Summit Program truly exceptional. She has time and again shown what is means to Connect, Share and Learn.”

The post Received the PASS Outstanding Volunteer Award appeared first on Mindy Curnutt and Associates.

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